Chinook salmon. (supplied by the Government of Canada)
Steps are being taken at the federal and provincial level to help preserve our wild salmon population.
Federal fisheries minister Bernadette Jordan announced funding for four projects, aimed at restoring salmon habitats across B.C.
The $4 million in funding will come out of the British Columbia Salmon Restoration and Innovation Fund.
The latest projects that will receive funding through BCSRIF are:
- The Juan de Fuca Salmon Restoration Society will support upgrades to the Sooke River Jack Brooks hatchery facility and interpretive center. Facility upgrades will meet green building codes, include upgraded effluent treatments and the potential for stock assessment capability.
- The Seymour Salmonid Society will undertake a multi-year, Seymour watershed-wide initiative. This will combine rockslide mitigation work to enable upstream fish passage, along with physical habitat enhancement and restoration work to improve the habitat quality and functionality within the watershed.
- The Osoyoos Indian Band will support post-mudslide restoration and effectiveness monitoring for Inkaneep Creek and its floodplain. Restoration work will improve the survivability of Okanagan Steelhead, Rainbow trout, and Chinook salmon and apply an innovative combination of traditional knowledge and science towards sustainable fisheries co-management.
The Adams Lake Indian Band will support restoration of the Upper Adams early summer run sockeye to a sustainable level, and improve opportunities for sustainable use.
All told, 42 projects have now received BCSRIF funding, representing an investment of around $71M for the future of wild Pacific salmon, and the B.C. fish and seafood sector.
“Our Pacific wild salmon are facing unprecedented pressures due to climate change and the increasing demand for fish and seafood products. The Canadian and British Columbian governments are firmly committed to protecting and restoring this iconic species of our west coast. The BCSRIF program allows us to support hard working teams on the ground that are leading incredible efforts toward this common goal,” Jordan said.
“The projects announced today will help to restore Pacific salmon fish stocks and ensure they are maintained for future generations.”
“These investments will play a key role in making B.C.’s wild fisheries more sustainable for the long-term. These investments will also benefit B.C.’s fish and seafood sector by ensuring it can continue to offer stable employment to thousands of Canadians,” a federal government release says.
“By supporting projects that build environmental and economic resilience, BCSRIF is also contributing to our recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.”
The federal government says priorities for the Fund in 2020 have been:
- research to refine the scientific understanding of Fraser steelhead, Chinook salmon, and Coho salmon through scientific partnerships and the incorporation of Indigenous knowledge;
- habitat restoration projects that target red status conservation units or Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada-listed populations;
- innovative processes and technologies to increase the quality and value of B.C. fish and seafood products and optimize fishing operations;
- projects to advance selective fishing practices aimed at minimizing bycatch of species of concern;
- new aquaculture technologies and processes to improve environmental performance and increase supply chain transparency; and
- infrastructure upgrades or improvements to existing hatcheries.
BCSRIF funding is open to Indigenous communities, industry associations, environmental non-governmental organizations, commercial enterprises, and academic institutions. Investments through this program will help recover salmon habitat, benefit commercial and recreational fishing and aquaculture, as well as support science and research initiatives.
More on the application process, timelines and program criteria are available on the BCSRIF website: www.bcsrif.ca
The Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Environment and Climate Change, and Member of Parliament for North Vancouver
The BCSRIF is a 70 percent federal, 30 percent provincial cost-shared program.
The federal government is investing $100M over five years for the British Columbia Salmon Restoration and Innovation Fund, and provided a one-time investment of $5M for the Pacific Salmon Endowment Fund.
The province is investing $42.85 million over five years.
BCSRIF accepted new applications for funding from July 15 to September 15, 2020. Applications are under review by Fisheries and Oceans Canada and the Province of British Columbia.